The State of the Culture


Dr. Alex McFarland Launches ‘2016 Malaise

Index’ to Gauge Americans’ Views on Society

Survey Asks If People Are More or Less Hopeful

and Encouraged Than They Were 10 Years Ago

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—From staunchly debated LGBTQ policies and a sluggish economy to global health scares and political unrest—there are many headlines that might cause some Americans to have a bleak outlook on the culture as a whole.

But on the other side of the coin, Christianity is reaching more corners of the world, technological advancements abound, and young people are showing their engagement in society. So to others, there is hope and a chance for new beginnings.

As the nation prepares to elect a new leader, and as the perception of losing the American dream intensifies for many, author and religion/culture expert Dr. Alex McFarland ( is asking Americans for their input for the2016 Malaise Indexto gauge their outlook on society.

“Headlines tell us that the culture is headed in a different direction than many would like,” McFarland said. “But there is wonderful and hopeful news out there as well. Those of us who can remember the general malaise and gloominess of the days of President Jimmy Carter can relate. Is there a similar feeling today? If so, is the negativity due to the same or different reasons? We hope to uncover this and much more with the ‘2016 Malaise Index’ and paint a true picture of what Americans are thinking and how they are feeling about society in general.”

The survey consists of eight questions:

  1. My outlook on the culture as a whole compared to 10 years ago is: BETTER / WORSE / THE SAME
  2. Financially, my outlook today for my own family’s finances compared to 10 years ago is: BETTER / WORSE / THE SAME
  3. Spiritually and morally, my outlook on society in general compared to 10 years ago is: BETTER / WORSE / THE SAME
  4. Please choose the one (1) word from the list below that you feel best describes your outlook on life and the world in general: HOPEFUL / HOPELESS / ENCOURAGED / DISCOURAGED / CONTENT / ANGRY / OPTIMISTIC / PESSIMISTIC
  5. I feel that my children, or young people I know, will grow up in a better world than I did: TRUE / FALSE
  6. I consider myself a faith- or beliefs-driven person: TRUE / FALSE
  7. If great leaders from previous generations saw America today, would they approve or disapprove of the state of the culture today? APPROVE / DISAPPROVE (Optional comment: If your answer was “DISAPPROVE,” in your opinion, what would it take to return the country to a better place?)
  8. On a scale of 1 to 10, please rate your outlook on the world/society/culture today, with 1 being VERY HOPELESS and 10 being VERY HOPEFUL.

“Our desire is that many, many Americans will share their views on the culture for the ‘2016 Malaise Index,’ McFarland said. “These answers—from those who are the most involved in society, raising children, working at schools, attending churches, building up businesses and contributing to the economy—will be a telling indicator of the real state of America.”

McFarland interacts yearly with about 20,000 young people and is the author of the new book, “The God You Thought You Knew: Exposing the 10 Biggest Myths About Christianity,” in which he dispels the myths and untruths about Christianity and replaces that with the truth of who God really is.

Another popular book by McFarland, “The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity & How to Answer Them Confidently,” was recently turned into a DVD curriculum set for parents and small groups. Learn more here.

McFarland is the author of numerous other books, including “10 Questions Every Christian Must Answer,” “10 Issues that Divide Christians,” “10 Answers for Skeptics” and the “Stand” series of devotions for teens. McFarland is also an expert in the field of apologetics—the practice of defending the Christian faith in a world where faith in Christ is plummeting at alarming rates.

McFarland has spent years working with young people and takes their questions to heart. He has preached in more than 1,300 churches and has been featured at conferences such as the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, Focus on the Family’s “Big Dig” and California’s “Spirit West Coast,” sharing the platform with Chuck Colson, Eric Metaxas, Josh McDowell and others. He also serves as Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University ( in Greenville, S.C.

Part evangelist, part apologist, part educator and part broadcaster, McFarland focuses on communicating the message of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. He co-hosts the daily, live radio program “Exploring the Word” on American Family Radio’s Talk Network, heard on approximately 140 stations across the country, and the weekly television show “Viral Truth,” airing on the National Religious Broadcasters Network, which he co-hosts with Jason Jimenez.

For more information on Dr. Alex McFarland, visit or follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @AlexMcFarland.


Beth Harrison, Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102

Alex McFarland

Alex has preached in over 2,200 churches throughout North America and numerous more internationally. He also speaks at Christian events, conferences, debates, and other venues to teach biblical truths and preach the gospel.

Related Posts